Last week, something truly amazing happened… something we have been thinking about for years…something we can not wait to get stuck into…
On Wednesday the latest version of Unreal Engine was rolled out to the masses and it was like Christmas came early for our team! Unreal Engine 5 was announced two years ago but was ‘soft-launched’ to 300 million Fortnite users at the end of last year. This was in an effort to show what is possible with Unreal Engine and ensure that it all worked before rolling it out to the masses.
The live-streamed launch detailed all of the developments since Unreal Engine 4 came out 8 years ago. It promises better gameplay and design, more realistic human characters, a new dynamic lighting system (Lumen) and a micropolygon geometry system (Nanite) to create more detailed visuals.
Lumen creates much more realistic lighting solutions. You can place any light source in a space and light bounces and shadows will be generated. This eliminates the need for Unreal artists and designers to be able to create more dynamic lighting without having to create a lightmap.
The video shows you just how intelligently and dynamically Lumen can light complex scenes.
The goal of Unreal 5 was to make it as easy as possible for developers to design a detailed world without having to spend huge amounts of time on creating new assets. So as part of the launch, more assets became available on the Unreal Engine store, with a new addition of MegaScans to allow users to 3d scan objects to use in their worlds.
A lot of these updates and improvements are aimed specifically at game developers and designers, but the principles of improvement still apply to creative studios like us. Epic, Unreal Engine’s parent company, claims this update alongside a redesigned user interface, new animation and modelling tools will allow creators to fine-tune designs which will help Unreal Engine 5 developers “put creativity first”. At Studio Giggle, we always put creativity first when it comes to all our projects, so we are excited to see how this update will allow us to be even more creative and design events and worlds that are even more impressive for our clients.
The addition of Nanite and Lumen will completely change the way that we can build and design scenes. It means we can design in a much more literal fashion, for example, if we but a glowing object somewhere it will act as an actual light source, casting shadow and reflection.
The update is a massive leap forward and puts us one step closer to real-world physics. The upgrade allows us to be more creative with our worlds but also allows shows how much more computers can handle, for example, the Hogwarts Legacy game has just been unveiled, which was built in Unreal. When you compare it to this still of Hagrid in the original Harry Potter game.
We are already looking to use Unreal Engine 5 to create realistic pre-vis for an event we have coming up in September. This will allow us to interact with the environment as if it was real, meaning we can move lights and camera to the perfect location before we even get on site.
Watch this space to see how we integrate Unreal Engine 5 into our workflow. Or to talk to us about how we can use this technology for you, call us on 0117 972 0081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org